I can’t do nothing just a little.
Well today is Sunday and that usually means one thing. I take that back; it means two things. Number one, I went to church. Number two, I stopped at the Farmer’s Market on the way home!
In a previous post entitled “When in Okinawa, Try Purple Food” I told you about how purple treats catch my eye with every Market Visit. Truthfully, it’s not just about the color purple; it’s about my love for Heirloom Gardening. I love how tomatoes not only come in red; in fact heirloom tomatoes can be orange, yellow, purple, pink, and even white. I’m obsessed with my Baker’s Creek Heirloom Seed Catalogue. I try new types of produce everywhere we go and do my best to save seeds so that I can grow my own varieties. There is just something gratifying about being able to grow something you can’t buy at a standard grocery store. I also enjoy cooking a colorful array of produce in my meals.
So here is what I picked up at the Market today:
PURPLE OKRA – as promised I will find something purple with every visit! I also grabbed a bag of bell peppers, a tiny orange pineapple, two overpriced mangos, and some original Okinawan Limes called shikuwasa.
Here is the okra from my plant next to the bag of okra I bought today. Still recovering from a cold, I had plenty of chicken soup and decided I could use a portion of my leftovers to make chicken gumbo.
I got right to work cutting the okra pods for my soup and setting aside seeds to save for later. The different colorations of the seeds in each pod made me curious. Was there something wrong with the black seeds or was it just a different okra variety? I did some research and learned today that some seeds just do that when they mature. The green okra from my plant had actually been left on the plant too long and therefore was too mature making it tough to eat. I now know for the future that okra is meant to be picked early (lesson learned).
Notice the purple okra is greenish on the inside but purple on the outside? As I cooked it in the soup it became increasingly green all around. They were less slimy than your average okra and I do think this variety is a keeper.
I then cut shikuwasa into halves and added some fresh lime juice into the gumbo as well as in a cup for my tea. I was able to then enjoy a yummy mango-lime tea sweetened lightly with a dash of honey (Yum-o). The shikuwasa have a strong scent but a rich flavor! I saved many seeds from these new fruits as well, but that’s another post.
Here’s to trying more purple food and other good stuff!